Having lost a brother to prostate cancer in May 2011, it was devastating news to learn a month later that I had bladder cancer.
I was diagnosed in June 2011 and began the journey. I had to undergo many tests and procedures to prepare for surgery. My first chemo treatments started in November that year and the first surgery was in March 2012. In September 2012, I had a PET scan and this revealed that the cancer had returned. A second rotation of chemo treatments began in November and a second major surgery followed in April 2013. I am recovering and learning to live with major life changes.
I am grateful for the excellent health care I have received at The Moncon Hospital and the Victoria General Hospital. There is great support from the doctors and nurses that work together in our health system. Advancements are happening every day with this disease and it is wonderful that so much can be done for the patients.
My first experience with Relay for Life was to volunteer at a survivor’s dinner where my family had been asked to provide musical entertainment for the evening. The next year I was invited as a survivor myself. Our local volunteers go to a lot of work to show support in our community. So many people have had their lives affected by cancer. I have been fortunate to have the strong support of my family, co-workers and friends in the community. Relay for Life events are very helpful in raising awareness of this disease and every family has their own experience.
I am hoping that my health will allow me to participate in the Relay for Life events this year and that I will continue to be a survivor.
The Relay for Life event will be held Oct.18, 2013, from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. on Oct. 19.